My Favorite WWII Aircraft: The Corsair


Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!

Posted by R. Scott Clark | Saturday, May 9, 2015 | Categorized Uncategorized | Tagged , Bookmark the permalink.

About R. Scott Clark

R. Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. Read more» He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.


  1. This wouldn’t have to do with your boyhood TV watching habits of “Baa Baa Black Sheep” with Robert Conrad

    • To add a little to my previous comment: I grew up in the early 1960’s. Here’s an inventory of what was in my room at that time:

      Model airplanes and pictures of airplanes…
      G.I. Joe…
      Baseball and football cards with every stat memorized (my brother and I used to quiz each other- oh, that I could memorize like that today! Hebrew and Greek would be a fiesta!)…
      Several of “The Three Investigators” books…
      A “Time Bomb” (no, not a real one, like kids have today; this was one was a game made by Milton Bradley)…
      Used gum placed on the headboard of my bed before falling asleep.

      No air conditioning, therefore the smell of fresh cut grass came through the window in the summer nights. Those truly were sweet days.
      God gave me a great upbringing.

      What’s missing from the above inventory is a copy of the Shorter Catechism. I wish I had been like the 8 year old J. Gresham Machen who wrote to his family in Macon, “I just love my catercissum.”

      Praise God, though: in His sovereignty, my salvation and my days are ordained of Him.

      Anyway, thanks, Dr. Clark, for posting this picture of the Corsair.

  2. After taking all factors into account,surely the Spitfire must take First Place: Elegance of design, overall effectiveness and reliability, the heroism associated with it, its status as a symbol of an entire civilization pitted against overwhelming odds. (The Battle of Britain, and all that.) Add to that “the stuff of legend,” and it’s pretty hard to beat.

    • William Walton wrote a pretty good march celebrating the Spitfire, but pitted against Verdi’s opera, Berlioz’s overture and Adam’s ballet … (The Mustang, of course, is nowhere in this line up).

    • Well done, John! Being a 55+ years classical music fanatic, I get the “Corsair” references. I know Walton’s “Spitfire: Prelude and Fugue” but am clueless about a march.

      By the way, for all of you interested in the Western civilization which has now largely vanished: Check out William Walton’s “Crown Imperial” march (several on YouTube). First performed for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, this single piece of music is the very essence of a world long past, when “Christendom” (for all its flaws) still evoked dignity, order, and strength.

    • Frank, you’ve shown up one of the many gaps in my knowledge (Quite unintentionally I manage to give people the impression that I’m very knowledgeable, whereas in fact I virtually wear my brain on my sleeve) – I only heard the Spitfire once, when a violinist friend played me a recording of part of it (I think the Prelude, which has been described as a march – I assumed it was a march. I think it must have been a brass band version – certainly, I thought the passages I heard being played by brass sounded like the sort of thing a violin section would play) opining that it was better than Crown Imperial (a piece I prefer to Elgar’s marches). I wasn’t so sure!
      Another piece of ignorance I must confess: I only found about the opera, the ballet, and Byron’s poem yesterday when I googled Le Corsaire; and that only because I had either played in (our parents took us with them to the Bernard Robinson Music Camp several summers, where Colin Davis continued to share the conducting, even for some time after he’d been established in the profession), or merely heard Berlioz’s overture.

  3. Ah, but gentlemen, remember that it was Gen. Chuck Yeager – first man to pilot an aircraft past the sound barrier – who flew a P-51 Mustang into combat during WW2. Besides, the Mustang was the first fighter that was specially designed to fly long distances in order to escort bombing raids over occupied Europe. Now THAT’S elegance! (Not that I have anything against either the Spitfire or the Corsair)

  4. Hi Frank,
    Thanks for your suggestion above re: Walton’s “Crown Imperial” march. I liked your comments on it as well- we live in a day where nobility, dignity, and etiquette have vanished.

  5. A ruling elder emeritus (now in his 90s) at our church flew in the Pacific with a wingman who transferred into his squadron from the Black Sheep.

  6. Fighter planes capture the peak of what is possible mechanically or, now, technologically, at the time they are built. Max speed. Minimum air resistance. Max maneuverability as is allowed by speed, payload, and function. Being an old geezer now, I grew up when plastic models could be had for 50 cents. My bedroom as a child was adorned with aircraft hung by seeing thread and safety pins. Corvettes and Ferraris of the air world. What ever happened to my old planes?

  7. Mike R – they’re all packed up nice and safe in the back of your mind. Just like mine!

Comments are closed.